Congressional leaders on both sides of aisle are giving thumbs up to an emerging deal Wednesday to extend a payroll tax cut and extra jobless benefits through 2012, but cautioned that the final details are yet to nailed down.
A number of political pundits are calling the deal an election year victory for President Obama. However, Republican 5th District Congressman Mick Mulvaney, appearing on MSNBC Tuesday, said he doesn’t see it that way.
“I have yet to understand why the Republicans getting what we wanted in December, which is a year extension on the payroll tax cut and allowing the people to keep more of their money is a cave on our part,” he said. “Maybe it’s just possible in this circumstance we both wanted the same thing.”
In December, a majority of House Republicans initially opposed a two-month extension of the tax cut and other benefits that were about to lapse, saying it was too short of a period of time. However, a number of political observers say during an election year Republicans are determined that the president not be able to claim that the GOP was standing in the way of a middle-class tax cut.
The latest CBS News/ New York Times and ABC News/Washington Post show President Obama’s job approval rating is now up to 50 percent. That’s his highest his rating has been since May 2011.
Mulvaney said, in his view, the president is still very vulnerable and GOP still has a solid chance to win the White House. He points out that the president still faces an uphill battle in the majority of the South, such as neighboring North Carolina– which Obama won in 2008.
“I think we will see this change over the course of nine months. This is a short-term business. We are three election cycles away from going into November. I live very close to the North Carolina Border and the president is really struggling there. They had a very unpopular Democrat Governor (Beverly Perdue) actually says she’s not going to run for re-election. Now they’re having trouble finding someone to run on the Democratic ticket with the president in North Carolina.”